St. Patrick’s Day Partners Release Enforcement Results for 2018

Posted on Monday March 19, 2018

Waterloo Region, Ontario –  On March 17, 2018,the Waterloo Regional Police Service, along with our community partners, were deployed to the area of Ezra Avenue in Waterloo in relation to the unsanctioned St. Patrick’s Day street gathering.

A peak attendance estimate has been set at 22,400. This estimate is based on the attendance in the Ezra Avenue corridor during the day’s busiest time and is not a reflection of the total attendance for the day.

Preliminary results indicate that Waterloo Regional Police responded to 248 calls for service in the St. Patrick’s Day perimeter, resulting in 619 charges for Highway Traffic Act (62), Liquor Licence Act (435), Criminal Code (18) and By-Law (45) offences. Other charges were laid under the Trespass to Property Act (50), Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (5) and Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act (4).

This is a substantial increase from last year, when 197 charges were laid. These figures include Provincial Offence Notices issued by Wilfrid Laurier University’s Special Constable Service.

The Criminal Code charges include offences for Causing a Disturbance, Assault With a Weapon, Possession of a Weapon for a Dangerous Purpose, Carrying a Concealed Weapon and Impaired Driving.

“Our officers responded to several very dangerous and unsafe incidents throughout the day and into the evening,” said Bryan Larkin, Chief of Police. “Over the next several months we will be meeting with our community partners to discuss how we move forward in terms of shutting down this unsanctioned, unlawful and unsafe gathering. We have said from day one that we want attendees to have a good time, but we want them to have a safe time. This is a major public safety concern.”

Region of Waterloo Paramedic Services also saw an increased demand for service throughout the day Saturday and into the early morning on Sunday.

The large crowd made locating and accessing patients difficult for paramedic crews. Twelve specifically trained paramedics responded on foot in the Ezra Avenue area to assess and extricate patients out of the crowd to waiting ambulances with the assistance of police. Four designated ambulances were also brought in to manage increased demands.   

In total, paramedic crews responded to a total of 70 patient contacts between 10 a.m. Saturday to 3:00 a.m. Sunday. Forty of these patients were transported to hospital. Region of Waterloo Paramedic Services Deputy Chief Kevin Petendra said what was most concerning was the severity of the calls.

“Twelve patients transported were in critical or serious condition, all related to alcohol and substance misuse,” said Petendra. “These critical patients put significant pressure on our resources and the resources at our local hospitals."

City of Waterloo By-Law Enforcement Services responded to a total of 143 calls and laid 35 charges for Public Nuisance. Fifteen charges were also laid in relation to property standards. Officers also cleared 15 properties due to large crowds.

Waterloo Fire Rescue Services responded to 40 calls during the day. Nine of these calls were for activated alarms and 24 for medical issues.

The Waterloo Regional Police Service would like to thank all community partners who have worked together over the past year to ensure public safety during this unlawful event. This includes the City of Waterloo, The Region of Waterloo Paramedic Services, Waterloo Fire Rescue Service, Wilfrid Laurier University, the Wilfrid Laurier University Student’s Union, the University of Waterloo and the University of Waterloo Federation of Students.


Media Inquiries:

Cherri Greeno

Media Relations Coordinator

Executive Branch

Waterloo Regional Police Service

519-570-9777 (WRPS) ext. 8773

To receive our Media Releases, subscribe here:

Contact Us

How Do I...